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Challenges of Immigration

When one moves from one country to another, there are challenges that accompany an immigrant. In Firoozeh Dumas’ memoir, the hardship of growing up as an immigrant is clearly seen. When Dumas was a kid, she moved to America from Iran and started a new life marked by numerous struggles. Her enjoyment of youth was put to an end when she had to mature and face the real adult world with her parents. She had to face hostility due to her ethnic name. The differences in the cultural activities made her develop an idea of changing her unique qualities so that she could feel accepted. Racism was another problem that she had to deal with in the new country. She and her family went through much hardship trying to be accepted in America because of their ethnicity, but finally they overcame the challenge. Firoozeh Dumas’ story about her experiences depicts her personal development, because as she gets older, she begins to understand the people around her. She finally acknowledges being an Iranian American, the struggle that she has been engaged in since she moved to the United States. Besides, her experience matches the problems that most immigrants face today from cover letter writing service.

Cultural differences are apparent in the memoir as one of the challenges of being an immigrant. Dumas had to teach her parents English which was completely new to them. She always tried to explain to her parents the variance in English and Persian slang. Her father complimented the daughter of his friend by calling her homely meaning she would be a great housewife. Also, he referred to the tendency of the drivers to honk as being horny. Further, her parents could not understand why the teenagers need to be cool so that they can be hot. The narrator tries to explain how she assimilated into the culture that her family could not comprehend since they were not brought up in America.

Dumas makes it clear that the existence of cultural differences created an emotional barrier in her head. Firoozeh Dumas always felt different because of her ethnic name. She says: “All of us immigrants knew that moving to America would be fraught with challenges, but none of us thought that our names would be such an obstacle”. The author tries to show the problem of having a name which is considered different in a country where other challenges are more pertinent than having an ethnic name. Dumas reveals to the readers how her name made her become ostracized. When she moved to Newport Beach, Dumas though it would be better to start a new life with another name since she felt her name was difficult to pronounce and thought that people could not talk to her due to the difficulty in pronouncing her name. Living in a country that has that kind of alienation on the ethnic basis makes people feel that it is better to change who they are.

The author dealt with alienation not only while she was young, but also in her marriage. Being an Iranian married to a Frenchman made the family of her husband refuse to acknowledge her marriage even after bearing children. This shows that no matter how deep someone gets integrated into another culture, some will still take him as dissimilar. However, when Firoozeh Dumas told her mother that she was going to marry a Frenchman, her mother put aside her culture and understood the new culture which involved girls choosing their husbands and by that she became a pioneer. Through her narration, Dumas portrays how the differences in cultures affect immigrants. The problems of alienation and the language barrier are among the challenges that are related to cultural differences.

Hatred is another challenge an immigrant faces in a new country. Sometimes hatred is a result of the nationality of a person and causes many struggles as one tries to settle in the new country. In the Funny in Farsi memoir, Dumas is faced with increasing hate due to her Iranian nationality. After the revolution, Dumas’ family received a lot of hatred. The reason was that they originated from Iran, thus they were believed to possess the same view as the government of Iran which the world condemned. During the revolution, her father was fired from an Iranian company although, luckily, he got a chance to work with an American firm. This is still evident in many countries of the world, where immigrants from the countries the rest of the world hates are discriminated because they are believed to share the opinion their native country’s rulers. The author said: “As he was settling into his new job, a group of Americans in Tehran was taken a hostage in America embassy. [Dumas’s] father was laid off”. The writer is trying to elaborate what other Americans had toward Iranians as a whole. Dumas said: “Nobody asked our opinion of whether the hostages should have been taken, and yet every single Iranian in America was paying the price”. Since she was an Iranian as well as her family, they encountered generalized hatred and discrimination. As an immigrant, though she was hated, Dumas learned to direct that hatred and alienation into good morals that were instilled deeply in her.

Growing up having two different cultural spectra, Firoozeh Dumas understood that there was more to life than just hatred and generalization. She finally learned to appreciate the differences that existed in her life, but to her children, she chose to show the aspect of life that she did not enjoy. Dumas said: “Francois and I plan on giving our children something more valuable than the simple truth that the best way to go through life is to be a major donor of kindness”. Through this comment, the author explains how the ethnicity of a person is irrelevant, but what matters most is treating all people with kindness. Though she went through so many struggles of alienation, she wants to teach her children how to treat all people with kindness irrespective of their ethnicity.

Living in a country far from home created many problems that Dumas and her family had to deal with. From the difference of their names to the hatred that was generalized, her family developed a view of how life in the U.S. should be like. The move of Dumas and her family changed their minds and they became accepted even though they endured so much hatred and alienation. Finally, they were able to find happiness in a country where they were initially hated. It is, therefore, up to the immigrants to ensure that the uninformed perception is eliminated.

Being an immigrant myself, I can state that this book taught me that immigration has a great impact on the cultural identity of families and their assessment of life. Although I immigrated to the U.S. only 5 years ago, I made a similar challenging journey trying to settle down in America. Despite the alienation I faced, just like Dumas, I strived to achieve happiness. I managed to keep my Asian identity while embracing the new culture of America. Leaving the customs of the native country behind is quite simple when one is leaving, but it becomes very difficult to preserve the new identity. However, I managed to develop a new identity in a multicultural society of the U.S.

From the experiences of Firoozeh Dumas, the challenges immigration leads to are evident even in developed countries like America. The immigrants face many challenges as they try to settle in the new environment. Hatred and discrimination are among the problems that immigrants face as a result of their ethnicity. Although there are problems with endurance, other people finally accept the immigrants as they did with the family of Dumas.

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